As I’m sure is the case for most of us, January was a busy month, settling into the New Year. I’ve been remiss in not posting more often, so this will serve to bring you up-to-date on my training to date, with a focus on this week and the start of formal training with PR Running’s Cherry Blossom training program. You can follow along with my team members by visiting the link at the bottom of the post.
I actually started my formal training for the race back in early December. Two reasons – I need to work on building my endurance and speed for a longer race, and my first Ten Miler of 2018 is quite soon. I’ve signed up for the race in Reston in early March, and candidly, I need all the physical and emotional preparation I can muster. Getting started in December was necessary, since the holidays and other distractions made it difficult.
I started January off -literally – on the right foot with the 2018 5K in Reston. My time, at just over 30 minutes, was a little slower than I would have liked — but given my training, and the bitterly cold conditions, I celebrated it as a victory, and a good start to the year.
Since then, most of January has been focused on establishing a little more discipline and consistency in my training. I’ve had mixed results so far. My plan, a blend of the program I’d originally established back in December and the program provided by the PR Running Coach, has me running five days a week. At best, I’ve been doing about four runs a week, although this week, I have a bit of an excuse — more on that in just a minute.
The formal PR Running program encourages a track workout on Tuesdays. I live relatively far away from the training site in Reston, and I don’t have access to a track. but, Tuesday happens to be the day my original training program usually sets aside for intervals, so I’ll combine the two.
Most of the other planned runs are straightforward, with increasing distances and varied paces. For me, that will be Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
Sunday will be my long run, with the PR Running group in Reston. We all met for the first time last Sunday, and I put in four miles on the W&OD trail. This is my third year in the program, so that section of the trail is a bit like an old familiar friend. The weather was not the best – cool, but not cold, and a mix of rain and mist. The good news was the weather seemed to scare off most everyone else, so we largely had the trail to ourselves. My run went well – 4.13 miles in 46:08. That was followed by about a three-quarters of a mile walk to relax and recover.
I’ve also added a round of yoga to my training, as well as a gym workout at least once a week. I’ve found I tend to get extremely tight in my calves, hamstrings, and back. The yoga helps stretch those muscles, and is a pleasant way to help clear the mind. The gym workout is pretty standard – there are a couple of variations, each combining weight lifting and other exercises to help strengthen my core and upper body. Yoga is Tuesday evenings, and the gym workout is meant to be Fridays.
“It’s very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not the beat the other runners. Eventually, you learn that the competition of against the little voice inside you that wants you to quit.” – George Sheenhan
As I mentioned, my inaugural week didn’t go quite to plan. Tuesday was ok. I took a late lunch to go for my run – 2.37 miles in 25:33 minutes. Physically it was fine, but it didn’t go well mentally. I was disappointed with my performance, turning in negative splits. Yoga that evening went well. Wednesday went a little better, fitting in 2.51 miles in 27:26 before an evening work-related phone call. Pace was slightly slower, but splits were a bit better.
Thursday, things fell apart. I’ve been having some sinus and bronchial problems, and they hit hard, with a nasty headache and a sore throat. So, Thursday’s planned run went by the wayside, as did Friday’s workout, and Saturday’s runs.
I woke up this morning with plans to try and re-start with the group in Reston. I ended up passing on the group training. I’m still having symptoms – I don’t really think it’s a cold or the flu, although there’s a lot of it about, but I didn’t want to risk exposing everyone in case it was. The lousy weather and poor road conditions sealed it. Stayed home, rested a bit, then went out for a “long run” late in the day. Managed a total of 3.55 miles in 40:32 in a moderate rain, mostly on the street and sidewalks, with a little trail running tossed in. The area I live in is rather hilly, so I managed to clock 159 feet of elevation gain. Followed up the run with a long walk. Not great, but between health and weather, will have to do.
So that’s my first formal week. Certainly not everything I hoped for. But will try again starting tomorrow, and hope for a better week. It’s 27 days to the Reston Ten Miler and 62 to the Cherry Blossom – lots of focus and work to do.
Follow the link below to read about other team member’s training.